Tag Archives: royal natal national park

Joubert’s photographic study of Thendele’s Guineafowl

This afternoon we were relaxing on the veranda of our cottage here at Thendele in the Royal Natal National Park, when a flock of Helmeted Guineafowl came around for a visit, presenting Joubert with an excellent opportunity to practice some close-up bird photography – and with great success I might add!

The clouds also lifted just high enough for a while to provide a clear view of the Amphitheatre!

Drakensberg Amphitheatre seen from Thendele in the Royal Natal National Park, 23 March 2019

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Catching our breath at Royal Natal

We spent most of today out-and-about in the Royal Natal National Park, enjoying the breathtaking scenery despite regular downpours.

We also got a quick glimpse of the magnificent Amphitheatre peaking through the clouds!

A Change of View

The 21st of March is celebrated as Human Rights Day in South Africa, and we’ve moved southwards into the Drakensberg to Thendele Camp in the Royal Natal National Park. Behind those thick clouds are hidden another of South Africa’s most inspiring natural features; the Amphitheatre, which we hope will be revealed in all its glory tomorrow!

A walk in the Park

There’s no doubt that hiking is the biggest pastime enjoyed by visitors to the Royal Natal National Park. Walking through the mountains allows access to so many beautiful spots. We particularly enjoy the easy trails that lead from the Mahai campsite and visitor centre, like Otto’s walk and the trails to the Cascades and Fairy Glen.

This was the last installment on our December visit to Royal Natal National Park in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg. From here we travelled to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in Zululand, and from tomorrow we’ll be sharing some of what we experienced there.

Drakensberg Birding

The varied habitats of the Royal Natal National Park provides excellent habitat for a wide range of bird species. We’ve already introduced you to the rare Bush Blackcap, which is often recorded in the reserve, and the Lesser Striped Swallows that shared our accommodation unit, but there’s so many other feathered inhabitants in the Park that we can dedicate a whole blogpost just to them – in fact, this gallery contains just a few of the more than 60 species we ticked during our December visit!

Breathtaking Mountains

Come rain or shine, and no matter which way you look, the mountain scenery at Royal Natal National Park, dominated by the magnificent cliff face of the Amphitheatre, will take your breath away!

Bush Blackcap

Lioptilus nigricapillus

Our December 2016 visit to Thendele in the Royal Natal National Park afforded us our first opportunity to photograph the Bush Blackcap, a rarely seen endemic South African bird with a very limited distribution along the Eastern Escarpment.

These small birds occur singly or in pairs in the dense canopy of mountain forests and their verges, moving down to coastal forests (and lush gardens) during winter. Breeding takes place in summer. They feed on fruits, berries and insects. The IUCN considers them “near threatened” due to a small population size (estimated at most around 5,000) and threats to their forest habitat.